Owner / Chef
Hallie moved to Madison 25 years ago from the northeast to raise her family in a town offering all of the benefits of small-town America. With a culinary background developed during years of dining in the New York metropolitan area and traveling abroad, Hallie fell in love with foods from all corners of the globe. Our menus reflect this: you will see various delicacies featuring Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine, and we’re always adding others.
Hallie also enjoys bringing to her clients the distinct Southern flavors she enjoyed growing up. Hallie’s Savannah-born mother would fill their kitchen with the instantly recognizable flavors and aromas of hushpuppies, corn fritters, biscuits, and fried chicken—these are just a few of the delightful foods now incorporated into Hallie Jane’s catering menus.
Once settled in Madison, Hallie availed herself of the area’s favorable agricultural season, taking advantage of fresh and colorful locally-grown ingredients throughout the year to enliven the tables at your event.
Director of Operations and Staffing Manager
Alex has been in the service industry for over 13 years. He started with a local catering company while attending college at the University of Georgia. After graduating with a business degree from Terry College of Business in 2004, he went on to manage Harry Bissett’s in downtown Athens, which has then been transformed into the New Orlean’s style restaurant NONA. Five years later Alex began working events at Hallie Jane’s Catering. He quickly rose through the ranks utilizing his service and management experience becoming HJC’s first salaried Staffing Manager. In this role, he specializes in hiring, training, scheduling and maintaining staff (servers, set-up crews, and bartenders) for all of HJC’s events. Within a short period of time, Alex’s incredible attention
to detail and accounting abilities earned him another promotion (or additional responsibility, as it were) to his current position of Operations Manager. In this role, Alex worked with HJC’s accountant to restructure HJC’s chart of accounts so as to better analyze and track the profitability and efficiencies within the company as well as within a particular event. He also successfully set up all vendors on terms, manages monthly and quarterly taxes, reconciles monthly books and manages all accounts payable/receivable and payroll. Once the next phase of Empire Mills is finished, Alex will hire and train a staffing manager to assume that portion of his job.
Here are just a few fun facts about Alex: His favorite venue is the new HJC venue, Empire Mills, his favorite item on the HJC menu is the “Creamed Greens with Bacon”. In his spare time he is a very active person, playing tennis, mountain biking, and running trail. Alex loves competition of any kind, with a weekly poker game hosted at his house. He can also be found playing chess or any number of games on his phone when he takes a break from crunching financials and HJC paperwork.
Kathleen Ruark started working for HJC when she was in high school in Madison. Thirteen years later, rising to her current position, it is safe to say, she has been a great addition to the HJC
family. By starting out on the wait staff at age 15, Kathleen has seen all sides of the catering and events industry. Likewise, her years of experience to every possible situation, client, style of event and inside look at the HJC approach to servicing these variables has made her wise and capable beyond her years.
While attending the University of Georgia as a Religion major, Kathleen participated in the Ballroom Dance Group. During breaks from school, Kathleen traveled as often as possible, with Costa Rica and Europe being her favorite destinations. Once graduating, Kathleen returned to HJC in 2009 as an event coordinator mentoring under Bethany Iverson, the HJC sales manager at that time. With amazing attention to detail, knowledge of the HJC systems, and an unending patience for even the most difficult of clients, Bethany passed on everything Kathleen needed to be the successful sales and account manager she is today. Adding a freakish ability to retain seemingly useless factoids about clients, venues and events from years before, Kathleen has elevated the HJC sales team to an even higher standard than her predecessor. Some daily responsibilities include scheduling initial consultations, client meetings, managing deposits and tastings, on-
site consultations to determine client’s needs based on venue, designing layout on HJC’s Turbo-CAD program, representing clients’ wishes by communicating with the kitchen, warehouse, and staffing departments.
Here are just a few of the fun facts about Kathleen: As a child, Kathleen went to math camp every summer from 3-9th grade, which she claims is AS fun as regular camp. She also traveled and competed in martial arts. Her favorite venue is Hallie Jane’s, Empire Mills, her favorite time of year to get married is in the Fall, and her favorite item on the HJC menu is the pulled pork tacos. Her favorite thing to do in her spare time is read sci-fi or history.
Tammy joined the HJC team 2 years ago, coming in with thirty years of hospitality/culinary experience. With a strong background in management along with her culinary training, ranging from 5-star dining to home-style cooking, Tammy has become an invaluable asset and leader for HJC. Tammy moved to Georgia from Florida where she managed 2 different restaurants over a 20 year period. Working alongside Hallie in the kitchen during peak season and when specialty menus arise, Tammy has a wonderful ability to transition from Kitchen Manager into Sous Chef mode. She has been Serve-Safe certified for over 20 years. Daily responsibilities for Tammy include ordering trucks, trips to farmer’s market/Sam’s club, inventory management, scheduling support staff, cooking for client tastings, costing and quantifying recipes, and of course, lots and lots of cooking for events.